As I look forward to the future of my college career, I feel the need to also look back. I need to see how I ended up where I am today. I’m heading into my third year of college. I’m majoring in journalism. I’ve just worked at a job that required manual labor, my first job.
Two years ago, I was a different man. I was just coming out of high school. I thought the good times were coming to an end. I’d spend my summer nights at my friend’s house. An elite crew of niggas that would do almost anything to fly away from boredom. The nights would disappear as we spent time trying to find games to play. Video games were one of our favorite ways of escaping. Sometimes the games would take hours to find and get to work on everyone’s computer. Time meant nothing to us. We could just come back for the next night. We could just head down to Shoprite and buy ice cream. We could head to the movies. We could do anything.
But of course time reared its ugly deformed unwanted face when August came. Once it became August, I knew that I’d be gone. The person I was would have to go. Once August came, the endless days and nights melted away. Each day became precious time. I knew there was nothing I could do. There was nothing any of us could do. Time, which had once been a complete non-factor, was now the greatest enemy of all. It ended our status quo and threw us into our destined roles.
I knew that I’d never get to be as carefree as I was that summer. I knew that I’d have to adapt to things. I would have to make new friends at college. I never checked my college e-mail until August. I opened it and saw an e-mail from a boy called [NAME OF BOY REDACTED]. He introduced himself and said he was glad to be a part of our suite.
I looked him up on Facebook. College now seemed so much more real. It now had a face. I looked up the other boys he had forwarded the e-mail too. They were now the face of change. I was very apprehensive of college. I didn’t even know who my roommate was going to be.
All I knew about college was the parties. The immense amount of drinking. Drugs were going to be everywhere. Drunk people would be commonplace. And I’d have to accept them.
I’d spent the majority of my life away from that scene. I never wanted to see drunk people. Let alone have my friends drink in front of me. You see before college started, I had never had friends who drank alcohol around me. If my friends did drink, I never knew of it.
I harbor a deep hatred for the drinking of alcohol. It’s one of those particular things that shape who I am. Not many people empathize with it.
Something I had tried to avoid for all of my life was now going to everywhere at college. College was not looking too good to me.
It was something I had to face. I had made the decision to go to the College of New Jersey. Backing out was not an option. I wouldn’t have taken it any other way. As move in day approached, I tried to look for the positives. I knew that my avoidance of alcohol wasn’t a normal thing for a teenager to have.
I thought that maybe once I went to college I could maybe learn to tolerate it. I knew that in adult life, it would be everywhere. I would have to learn to accept it. College would be the first step.
College was the last gate between me and the “real” world. I threw away some of my childish fear as I packed away my things. I accepted friend requests from people who were going to live on my floor.
I prepared myself mentally for the next chapter of my life. Nothing could break who I was.
Unfortunately my new-found confidence in college, would be shattered shortly after I arrived there.